AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Texas lawmakers will decide whether to embrace an issue that caused a national uproar in North Carolina — banning transgendered people from using the bathroom of their choice.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a top social conservative voice in the state, unveiled the proposed law Thursday at a news conference.
Patrick says the “Privacy Protection Act” is a top priority for the GOP-controlled Legislature, which convenes next week.
“The people of Texas elected us to stand up for common decency, common sense and public safety. This legislation codifies what has been common practice in Texas and everywhere else forever — that men and women should use separate, designated bathrooms. It is supported by an overwhelming majority of Texans including both Democrats and Republicans, Hispanics, African-Americans and Anglos, men and women.
“SB 6 also ensures that businesses have the freedom to determine their own bathroom policies and that no public school can institute a bathroom policy that allows boys to go in girls restrooms, showers and locker rooms and girls to go in boys restrooms, showers and locker rooms.
“This issue is not about discrimination — it’s about public safety, protecting businesses and common sense. I congratulate Sen. Kolkhorst for filing SB 6 and for her commitment to protecting the privacy of Texans and keeping them safe.”
VisitDallas responded saying it “does not support this effort and will work to stop any effort that discriminates or has an adverse effect on growing the tourism economy, and we urge our state leaders to do the same. Dallas is open for business to everyone.”
Lawmakers likely will support it, even though Texas’ largest business lobbying group says it and other anti-gay rights proposals could cost the state up to $8.5 billion and 100,000-plus jobs.
A Virginia lawmaker introduced similar legislation this week.
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